Ever since I knew that such a thing as birth photography existed, I wanted it. Through the years, I have been especially inspired by Renee, a blogger I've followed for years, as she's built her birth photography (and other photography, too) business; and each time I've seen the photos from a birth, I've been drawn more and more to that record of some of the most intense and meaningful moments in a mother's life.
When I was pregnant with Moriah, I brought up the subject with Jeff and discovered that he wasn't in agreement. That difference of opinion, which could have become a sour note in our relationship, actually led to a deeper level of love and respect between us (story told here); and I don't regret--not even a tiny bit--how all of that turned out.
But then I got pregnant again; and, knowing that it was almost certainly my last pregnancy, I again felt the nudge to have a birth photographer present during this birth. And so, with some uncertainty, I approached Jeff about it. To my great delight, he said yes--provided the cost wasn't too great and preferably with a photographer that we knew and were already somewhat comfortable with.
As it turned out, we asked Robin--a talented local photographer whom Jeff knew from her bringing her son into the barbershop for haircuts and I knew because she works in my midwives' office--if she might be interested in taking photos during the birth. We knew she couldn't guarantee to be there, especially because she has a "real" job; and we certainly didn't expect her to be able to drop everything and come when we called. But we wondered if she would be willing to come IF my labor started at a convenient time for her, and we were so happy when she said yes. Even though I knew that, despite her agreement, it still might not work out for her to be there, I had a deep sense of peace that somehow it would work out...and even if it didn't, it would be OK. I was content to let the timing of events be the determining factor in whether we had birth photos or not, but I really did feel like God would orchestrate things so that Robin could be a part of our big event...and I was so looking forward to her participation! :)
When my labor did begin, that Saturday night here at home, Jeff texted Robin to let her know something was happening; and I rejoiced that indeed, God had worked it out so that Robin could be a part. Not only was it night, it was also a weekend; and Robin's job wouldn't get in the way. Of course, she did have to get out of bed in the wee hours of a Sunday morning though... :)
I've already written about Robin's arrival at the hospital. We sure didn't give her much time to spare! :) She told us later that she parked in the regular lot, then realized that the normal entrance was locked, so she had to go back and go around to the emergency entrance. Then she had to sign in with security which was taking her a while, and she was anxious to hurry upstairs and find us. It all turned out just fine, but she didn't have much time to twiddle her thumbs before Benjamin was born. :)
In the third part of Benjamin's birth story, I went back and included some additions and corrections at the bottom of that post; and some of those came from these pictures Robin took. You can't argue with a photograph! :) One of the chief reasons I was so eager to have birth photographs is because when I'm giving birth, I'm in such a tunnel of focus that I am largely unaware of what is going on around me. I so much wanted to be more aware of how things had really gone, not just for me, but for those with me; and these photographs are the only way I could do that. :)
And now, without further ado, let me present to you another view of Benjamin's birth, this one through the lens of Robin's camera!!! :) I've included many, many pictures because I couldn't bear to leave any of them out. Enjoy! :)
...to hold his head and tell me to give one more push for the shoulders...
To have one of the greatest moments of my life captured in such a beautiful way...I hardly have words to say how grateful I am.
Thank you, Jeff, for letting someone come and take pictures during such an intimate time.
Thank you, Robin, for being that someone who gave up sleep and responded with such excitement--not to mention, skill.
And thank You, God, for orchestrating all the details so that it all worked out!!! :)